08 October 2021

Sam Machin MB ChB FRCP FRCPath
26 Mar 1949 to 02 Oct 2021

This obituary was written by Sam’s friend and colleague, Dr Ian Mackie

Sam was educated at Manchester Grammar School, before studying medicine at Sheffield University from 1966-71. He trained in haematology at the Manchester Royal Infirmary before taking a Senior Registrar post at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. His career in haemostasis and thrombosis research really began when he joined Jos Vermylen and others at the Department of Vascular and Haemostasis Research, KU Leuven, in 1979-80, where he performed research on prostacyclin, haemolytic uraemic syndrome and platelets. He then returned to London to become a Consultant Haematologist with Prof Jimmie Stewart, later becoming Professor of Haematology at The Middlesex and then University College London. He trained and supervised a large number of junior doctors and scientists, most of whom achieved MDs and PhDs. Almost without exception, these people have gone on to become consultants, professors, and heads of department in hospitals, universities and industry.

In 1981 he founded what was to become the Haemostasis Research Unit at UCL and directed research in many different areas of haemostasis and thrombosis, with over 400 peer reviewed publications. His primary areas of interest were platelet function, thrombotic thrombocytopaenia, antiphospholipid syndrome and the prothrombotic effects of combined oral contraceptives. He was also interested in laboratory automation and set up an evaluations unit that studied new haematology and coagulation anlaysers/reagents.

Sam was President of the British Society for Haemostasis and Thrombosis (2001-03) and the British Society for Haematology (2005-07), serving as treasurer from 1994-2000. He chaired the British Committee for Standardisation in Haematology for many years, the UK NEQAS Haematology Steering Committee (2006-11) and the International Council for Standardization in Haematology (2007-20), as well as being vice Chairman of the Scientific Standards Committee of International Society for Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) and ISTH Treasurer for the 2003 congress in Birmingham.

He enjoyed playing and watching sport, in particular: cricket, hockey and rugby league. A kind and generous man, although sometimes controversial. He spoke his mind and had a way of cutting through red tape and getting things done. He earned global renown and esteem for his contributions to haemostasis and will be sadly missed by many.